By VIOLET MENGO
THE US government has handed to government the investment master plans for the implementation of the US$355 million water supply, sanitation and drainage project in Lusaka under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
Chrage dâ€™ Affaires David Young said in Lusaka at the handover ceremony that plans are a collaboration of the Americans, Zambian policymakers and professionals to improve water provision, sanitation and drainage infrastructure.
â€œThrough our partnership, US and Zambia are working together to improve lives. We have a plan that is focused on bettering the infrastructure development, environment, regulatory policy and most importantly lives of Zambians,â€ Mr Young said.
He said with improved lives come improved opportunity.
Mr Young said the three plans to improve the management of water, sanitation and drainage with water as one of lifeâ€™s most precious resources is key to continued economic growth and opportunity in Lusaka.
He said the master plans were developed to assess the water supply, sanitation and drainage needs in Lusaka now and up to 2035 as part of a constraints analysis to sustain Zambiaâ€™s economic growth.
â€œZambia continues to experience an urban growth of 2.3 percent per year, therefore the number of potential urban customers who are without reliable access to safe water and sanitation continues to grow.
â€œBy investing more than US$355 million in transformation of the water, sanitation and drainage system in Lusaka, MCC and the US government have a strong interest in helping the government to ensure that these investments are well implemented, maintained and productive,â€ he said.
Mr Young said the drainage master plan considers improvement that will safeguard property and prevent illness and loss of life.
And Minister of Local Government and Housing Emmanuel Chenda in a speech read for him by his deputy Nicolas Banda commended the US government for the plans which he said were the largest single investment in the sector.
Mr Chenda said the plans offer short, medium and long term investment guidance in priority areas covering a 25 year period that will ultimately improve the lives of people in Lusaka.
â€œThe plans are in line with the development objectives of government. It is imperative that our people have good water supply and sanitation,â€ Mr Chenda said.
He said the services are important for survival and essential for promoting and maintaining the dignity of people.
By VIOLET MENGO